Sign up to Beta Test!
Glad to see you here! It’s people like you wanting to try something new that make change happen, and it’s from people like you that we want input! At this time, we are looking for only 20 students starting seventh-grade this fall and 6 sixth-grade teachers. So, please sign up early if you’d like to beta test ProblemScape.
SAQ, not FAQ (Just Some Anticipated Questions)
What is Beta Testing?
Beta testing is when startups like ours put our products out there early for actual users to use as they see fit, to observe and learn what needs improving.
What exactly is involved?
ProblemScape is a big game and has levels or “chapters” that are loosely tied to a particular Common Core Standard. Overall, it covers the entire introductory algebra curriculum usually covered in sixth-grade. Starting in mid-July, we are planning to release one to two chapters every week over the course of five weeks, and we would like you to play each and give us feedback. We expect that a chapter can take any time between 1 and 4 hours.
Why should I sign up? How is this going to help me?
I’m sure you’ve heard of the dreaded summer learning loss - students lose a good deal of what they learn over the school year during the summer break. A meta-analysis found (by looking at 39 other studies) that the negative effect of summer is substantial and increases with increasing grade levels. Another recent study which looked at the pace of summer learning loss and the ratio of summer loss to school-year gains found that by the summer after seventh grade, students lose on average a whopping 50 percent of their school-year gains in math.
ProblemScape is an integrated learning environment that is designed to help students gain a deep understanding of concepts and practice what they learn to create robust learning. Playing ProblemScape over the summer will help your student relearn and reinforce what they learned in school and can prepare them for learning seventh-grade content when school reopens.
Am I a good fit?
The support system built into ProblemScape is designed to help every student learn. We have challenge games and levels for those who have already mastered the content. However, this summer we want to find out how our support system helps those who haven’t achieved mastery yet, those who have been getting anything other than the first letter of the alphabet in their sixth-grade math class. We want to see if we can bring them up to mastery over the summer and if not, what else we need to do to make that happen. So, if your student has missed that first letter in their math class this year, then we believe they would be the right fit. Not that I believe that the dreaded first letter is all that important - I’m perfectly happy for my name to be spelled Vidye - but I do believe that mastering foundational concepts is important to prepare students for continuing to learn higher level math. Don’t you?
Why just 20 students and 6 teachers? Why not more?
We want to help all students learn and ambitiously hope that ProblemScape can reach and help every single student in every corner of the world. However, this summer is about our learning too. We want to learn how we are helping and where the gaps are, and we believe that we can achieve that by working with a smaller group of users. Depth over breadth - it is our motto for the students we help and for ourselves.
What if I have a question you didn’t anticipate?
That is the best kind! Many such questions played a big part in shaping our goals, vision and product over the last couple of years. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll answer the best I can!
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